(Second in a series of articles highlighting Black History Month)

There are many ways to honor the spirit of Black History Month, from participating in some great local events online (more about that in a bit); watching movies that realistically depict the early African American experience, like Alex Haley’s “Roots”; or even visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, opened in 2016.

Whatever we do, it’s important to get involved, because the past continues to impact the present.  A better understanding of our nation’s history will help guide a better path ahead.  The need to shine a spotlight on Black History, specifically, is due to its previous omission and misrepresentation in our country’s storyline. All in all, Black History Month is an opportunity:

To Educate – To teach people about the injustices of slavery so that the mistakes of our past do not recur. To learn about the contributions of African Americans in all aspects of our society, from the arts and sciences to business and politics to sports and the military.  

To Enlighten – To heighten our awareness of injustices and open our minds to brilliant possibilities.

To Inspire – To encourage future generations to dream big, work hard, stand up for what is right, and exist in harmony for the betterment of all people.

To Celebrate – To commemorate the brave, talented, and smart African Americans who have made our country, our world, better for their contributions

Here are several ways you can observe and honor Black History Month this February:

Spend a day walking through Wilmington’s self-guided “African American Heritage Tour.” visitnc.comprovides a map with site markers and information on educational, religious, social and cultural stops along the route.   

Hop on Zoom or Facebook to enjoy the “Ninth Annual Brunswick County Black History Symposium” hosted by the Southport Historical Society, with performances, lectures, and gospel music. Runs from Feb. 19 – Feb. 28.  southporthistoricalsociety.org

Plug in to Barbee Library‘s Lifelong Learners” series entitled “African American Experience”; call the library (910-278-4283) to register.

Watch Harper Library’s “Armchair History” lecture by Southport Historical Society’s Liz Fuller about “Southport and Historic Black Colleges and Universities” on Tuesday, Feb 16 at 1:00 pm. Register by emailing info@southporthistoricalsociety.org

These are just a few examples. Next time, we’ll look at some great books to read this month.


Image courtesy of pikisuperstar